The Young and the Restless’ Maria Arena Bell Re-Ups

CBS Soaps In Depth is reporting The Young and the Restless’ head writer/showrunner Maria Arena Bell  has re-signed her contract with the soap. This news comes on the heels of Y&R getting a three-year renewal. According to the magazine, Bell made the announcement of her contract via Facebook stating:

This is the most awesome news!!!"  "Huge vote of confidence for the show — it’s doing great! So there goes the "this business is dying" theory! Plus… I’ve got a new deal too!!!!!! So I’m staying with Y and R people!"

Photo by PR Photos.

35 Responses

  1. Profile photo of capwell

    Everytime I see Maria in a photo or on TV, I get the impression that she’s just one of the ladies who lunch. I honestly feel that she has very little or next to nothing to do with the day-to-day running and executive decisions behind this show. IMO, she’s a figurehead that is there because she happens to be married to one of the Bells.

    If I’m wrong, then she’s the driving force behind the destruction of what used to be the best soap on American TV.

  2. Profile photo of

    I think she has some pretty good ideas most of the time. It’s her fellow head writers (Sheffer and Hamner) and producer (Rauch) who seem to be doing the most damage. Hogan Sheffer’s writing on ATWT, Days, and Y&R borders on total misogyny. We know Rauch is sexist and racist. I’m fine with Maria’s renewal as long as it’s followed up by the three others getting pink slipped!

  3. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    Maybe when she’s staying with the show, Maria should start write this show again. And sorry, I don’t believe she is the boss. With the involvement of Paul Rauch and Hogan Sheffer, this became their show and you can see it.

  4. Profile photo of met

    Wow, she post it on Facebook! Talk about self-promoting! She must have realized that most of us have lost confidence in her writings. And no one eager to hear news from her. So now she is self promoting on FB. Jeez, I think a college English major could do better than what she and her crew is writing these days.

  5. Profile photo of alstonboy4315


    Maria Bell does strike me as a bored trophy/housewife who suddenly decided “Hey, it might be fun to actually run a soap opera in between my daily Rodeo Drive shopping sprees/Botox sessions.” She has done some good work, but I am still on the fence about her!!!!

    Very much so……..

    This does not strike me as good news, although I am sure it could be worse. They could be announcing that she’s hired Chuck Pratt to help her helm the show.

    Meh. :~ :~

  6. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    And YES Maria Bell is the HBIC…..

    Which goes to prove ONE thing: Hard work and dedication will get you to the top. And if that fails, MARRY RICH or SLEEP your way to the top. Either way, you are still on top!!!

    Sad, but true.

    :Sp :Sp :Sp :Sp

  7. Profile photo of GHfan-4now

    I hate to say this, but I think that is the most unflattering picture of Ma Bell I have ever seen. As soon as I saw it, I thought, ‘You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel!’ and then went from there. I don’t know why that song came to me, but, hmm. Anyway, I’m glad soaps are still hanging on, but at the same time, I don’t know what the hell to say about this woman and her writing team. I’m always on/off with Y&R. It’s not as bad as how I feel about GH–that show has hit the skids and has yet to find it’s way back to even remotely good for many of us–but it’s pretty damn near close. As was posted elsewhere, characters are so unrecognizable these days, others have become window dressing and sounding boards, and I won’t even go there about the Sharon/Adam/Nick spit swap. I still tune in, but what I see from day to day makes it hard. And I’m not the least bit surprised Ma Bell still has her job. That’s like waking up at 10 a.m. and realizing the sky is still blue. I go back into the coffin and wait for darkness. What. A. Shocker. :tongue:

  8. Profile photo of Nathang1983

    I keep hoping that maybe Maria Arena Bell is somewhere between a figurehead and “the boss.” If they get rid of Hogan Sheffer and Paul Rauch, I feel like things would change. I’ll just keep crossing my fingers that they’ll leave.

  9. Profile photo of marknsprmo

    I can see Hogan in alot of the stories on Y&R. Running through story at lightning speed is him. Never going down deep into the story but staying on the surface is him. Using vets to make a story seem deep and covering up the lack of tallent the younger ones possess is him. The man chews up and spits out more stories in a year than Bill Bell did in a decade. One thing he does do is keep vets around but it is more for window dressing than anything else. And when he moves on in a story, that story is dead. He doesn’t try to layer his stories or build upon them.
    What I see from Maria is her true love of soaps especially Bill Bell stories. She wants to mine them for their gems. She is also fearless when it comes to the types of stories she wants to tell. She really likes big reveals. Her weaknesses are that she doesn’t know what to do with the story after the big reveal. She also lets Sheffer pace the show (in my opinion a big mistake). She should put the breaks on and say. Ok we have had this great set up and reveal, now where can we take this? Instead they go off in another direction like a todler hitting a wall.
    I actually have alot of hope for her as she developes but she needs to have more confidence in her voice and develop it to become distinctive. Much like the voice of her hero Bill Bell. Not to say she needs to copy him, but just have a confidant statement to make

  10. Profile photo of baycity

    We in the online community might not be happy with what Ma Bell is dishing out, but Maria has expressed her belief that there are no more than about 100 of us in the whole wide world, and the “real” fans sure are lapping it up. The ratings are not suffering.

    I personally feel like Y&R is the most inconsistent soap there is. It was good when Maria first came on, stunk up my screen from February to May this year, became good again in the late summer and now I’m back to hating it. But, as I said, the ratings keep holding steady. As long as they do, Maria is not going anywhere.

  11. Profile photo of josser


    Whatever faults MAB has, she is no trophy wife. MAB has been a writer on Y&R for years. Make no mistake about it, Maria Arena Bell is a power player. She is the executive producer and headwriter of Y&R.

    What we are watching on screen is her vision. Others may contribute, but she’s the architect.

    Of course, her vision has been pretty hacktacular at grandiose levels….

  12. Profile photo of Nathang1983

    I agree, Marknsprmo. You can see Hogan Sheffer written all over these storylines. In a way, the doppelganger storyline reminds me of the Colleen/Santo storyline on Days. It’s just him writing what he believes to be the classic outlandish, fantastical soap storylines. He’s not a soap writer, and it’s evident. Before he wrote for soaps, he was a movie script writer. He knew nothing about the soap industry or soaps’ core families or history. I remember him saying something to that effect in one of his first interviews after being hired in 2006 to headwrite for Days. At least with Maria Bell, you get someone who has been in the industry for years and probably knew what was going on on Y&R for many years, even decades.
    I do fault her for the horrible storylines and recasts on the show, but it’s not completely her fault. Look at the people she’s surrounded. I wish she, Sony, and CBS weren’t so stupid or scared of firing some of these people! It would do wonders for this show!

  13. Profile photo of Carol2

    [quote=GHfan-4now]I hate to say this, but I think that is the most unflattering picture of Ma Bell I have ever seen.[/quote]

    Aside from the terrified grin on her face, that photo is more flattering than the bag lady pashmina look she has worn before.

    Maria Bell is good at promoting herself. That is what she has done since she took over Y&R and she continues to excel at this. Who can forget all the interviews where question after question led back to her brilliance, with truly arrogant comments about Bill Bell sitting on her shoulder, or whatever (more like Fire Marshall Bill, considering how this show has been torched), and with laughable pronouncements which never matched up to what was happening onscreen.

    The show is an afterthought to her. Anti-family, anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-good stories. The only thing it serves to do is to give one long big free pass to bigotry and laziness, and wasted opportunities.

    Rather than showing the life of soaps, the ego trip and the poor leadership shown by Maria Bell and friends represent the demise of daytime.

  14. Profile photo of GHfan-4now

    I’ve seen those, and I don’t like them either, but to me, in this one her posture just looks awkward and she just looks uncomfortable. Not the worst, but not the best. But it’s her remaining at the show and keeping the team she has now that worries me most. As you said, she’s anti just about everything. She could pull off that horrific bag lady look if the show was on point. Then, I probably wouldn’t care, lol! :)

  15. Profile photo of

    [quote=Ryan-Scott]I have often wondered if Kay Alden and Jack Smith came back what changes they would do….

    Kay Alden is over at B&B I think and I’m not sure where Jack Smith is. I was about to say that he passed away, but that was Jerry Birn who passed away in the last year and a half.

  16. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    Kay Alden and Jack Smith are both at B&B. Kay Alden is co-HW and Jack Smith does scripts from what I can tell since his name doesn’t appear in the credits everytime.

  17. Profile photo of Pure_Diva

    [quote]Maybe when she’s staying with the show, Maria should start write this show again.[/quote]

    She wrote that Phillip is not-dead and the Cane/Delia rewrite, so… her track record isn’t much better than Hogan Sheffer or Scott Hamner’s in my book. (SH wrote that reliquary story. Why he was kept as a HW after LML’s departure is a complete mystery to me.)

  18. Profile photo of stoney07

    MAB is not as bad as most online people make her out to be. I STRONGLY STRONGLY am persuaded that MAB, if paired with two other capable writers, or even online, could write the HELL out of this show. I think Paul Rauch is a horrible EP…always have, always will. I think Hogan Sheffer is a hack writer. I think Scott Hamner needs a one-way ticket out of the 80’s primetime soapville.

    FOR ME, Y&R was really great for most of 2008, when Maria first took total control. Then, they threw Hogan Sheffer into the mix, followed by Paul Rauch, and the show just took a nosedive. And while I still see glimpses of brilliance in the show, I’m still reminded of that interview where MAB said that the stories are divided amongst the headwriters. Number 1 that sucks because that means no integration AT ALL for the characters and stories. Secondly, that sucks because that means I will never have a perfect episode of all interesting stories.

    I say, KUDOS to MAB for getting a new deal. And Paul Rauch, Hogan Sheffer, and Scott Hamner need to all leave as soon as possible. Get my Ed Scott back as EP, bring back Kay Alden and Jack Smith and pair them with MAB…OR, I’d take Jack Smith, MAB, and Ron Carlivati….hehe. Then I’d have my old Y&R back….gush

  19. Profile photo of Nathang1983

    Oooh. Ron Carlivati would be good as co-headwriter. I like what he’s doing with OLTL. I just don’t watch that show because the young characters annoy the crap out of me.
    I’m in your camp Stoney07, when it comes to Maria Bell being a “figurehead” of some sort. I still believe that Hogan Sheffer and Paul Rauch have made Y&R a trainwreck. She’s certainly helped, but I feel like they’re the culprits. I also didn’t know that Scott Hamner wrote for primetime. Crappy storylines seem to be the M.O. of former primetime soap writers. What we need is more daytime veterans in the headwriter positions. Not former movie script writers or primetime writers. Blech.

  20. Profile photo of Steph S CO
    Steph S CO

    Considering the scuttlebutt I heard that MAB had hired Christopher Goutman, someone who has a reputation for being a show-killer (4 soaps he was involved in were all cancelled, including ATWT), I’m not so sure that her continued involvement with Y&R in ANY form is a good thing. It’s bad enough that soaps are an endangered species on daytime TV; we certainly don’t need someone like MAB helping them along to extinction.

  21. Profile photo of Dyllan

    I can’t stand MAB’s writing style. I would rank her up with LML. She does a few storylines okay, but everything else is crap (silver chipmunk anyone?). She has the ability to ruin any character and she has written the most sexist stuff on Y&R and that is saying something. I really wish they would hire someone else, but I highly doubt that will happen.

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